Rocky Point Fowler

Beenleigh Historical Village and Museum


Fowler 16249 ‘Rocky Point’ displayed in the open at Rocky Point Sugar Mill on 2 June 2012.

This photo was kindly contributed by Wesley Hay.


John Fowler & Co, Leeds

Builder’s Number & Year

16249 of 1925

Wheel Arrangement



This interesting little well-tank engine was built to a standard John Fowler & Co design, examples of this type finding use around the world in agriculture, mining, industry, and construction. This example worked at the Rocky Point Mill, Woongoolba, located near Beenleigh, south of Brisbane and before the Gold Coast – and is hence its moniker the ‘Rocky Point Fowler’.

This little Fowler loco has moved around a few times during its preservation career, but never too far from its home at Rocky Point Mill. It was displayed at Gilltraps Auto Museum at Kirra on the Gold Coast during the 1970's (together with Hunslet b/n 1078 ‘Maroochy’), where photos show it was painted in garish all-over yellow. The Gilltraps Auto Museum reduced its collection in 1981 prior to relocating to Dreamworld, finally closing in 1987 at which stage the remaining collection of historic cars and other exhibits were dispersed to new homes. Among these changes the Rocky Point Fowler also moved to Dreamworld, Coomera, being cosmetically restored and statically displayed alongside the 2’ gauge tourist railway that winds through the amusement park’s gardens and theme rides. (The webmaster recalls his first encounter with this little loco during a 1994 visit to Dreamworld with a group of friends. I first presumed the little locos was a mock-up among the other theme items encountered along the lineside, but a second glance revealed it was too accurate to be a model – and on closer inspection I was surprised to see the loco was real! Alas I didn’t have a camera with me at the time, I was too busy enjoying the rides!)

About 2000 or 2001 the Rocky Point Fowler moved to the Dreamworld running shed and was stripped for assessment, with a view to overhaul as a third operating engine for their tourist railway (alongside the Perry and Baldwin locos). Unfortunately, it was found there was too much wastage around the boiler and replacement was required, at prohibitive cost.

Fowler 16249 was relocated back to its original home at the Rocky Point Mill in 2002, still in stripped condition. Subsequent photos show the loco was restored to a good standard at Rocky Point Mill, and apparently was placed there as a static exhibit for some years. In that capacity it carried ‘Rocky Point’ nameplates on the cabsides.

Since 2013 the Rocky Point Fowler has been displayed within the grounds of the Beenleigh Historical Village & Museum, not far from the Rocky Point Mill and well cared for among the historic building and other artefacts there.

As an aside, the Rocky Point Fowler provides an interesting comparison to similar Fowler locomotive ‘Wee Georgie Wood’ which is preserved in Tasmania.

The photos on this page show various stages in the Rocky Point Fowler’s preservation career and its different homes.

Fowler 16249 is seen displayed at Gilltraps Auto Museum, Kirra in this 1974 photo, kindly provided by Anthony Winstone.

Fowler 16249 as stripped for assessment and under restoration at Rocky Point in early 2005.

The sand box is sitting in the cab! This photo was kindly contributed by Thomas Hurley.

The Builder's Plate. Photo courtesy of Wesley Hay and dated 2 June 2012.



Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site

(retrieved 26 March 2021):

'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list by John Browning.



Information provided by Mark Gough via email,

7 October 2005.


Page updated: 28 March 2021

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